“Invest in real estate. They’re not making any more of it.”My Dad
People mainly move to Port Stanley for its proximity to water. Sure, the village has loads of other charms and attractions. But it’s the shore of Lake Erie that draws residents, like us, to it. And we’re just 10-15 minutes away from shopping centres, should we find we need them.
As everyone knows, the real estate market took a drastic turn this year. It went from bidding wars and high over-asking purchase prices to a wait-and-see situation. Many of our neighbours are feeling it deeply. Some who planned on quickly flipping new condos and detached houses are finding it’s a waiting game.
Some economists who initially called this period a “course correction” are now predicting (according to this article from The Toronto Star) a full recession for at least the first two quarters of next year. Others are saying it will FEEL like a recession but won’t really BE a recession.
Still, homes are selling, just not with the frequency and headline-making frenzy they once enjoyed. Sellers are loathe to reduce asking prices but if you must sell, you might have no choice. CMHC predicts housing prices will drop 10-15% in 2023, a steeper drop than their earlier forecast of 5%.
But almost all of the data out there pertains to, or factors in, Toronto and Vancouver. When it comes to real estate, those are crazy places! The rest of us certainly feel the fluctuations but the major drama is in the big cities.
A lack of affordable rental properties is also a huge problem in this village. While the short-term AirBnB market is thriving, workers can’t afford to rent a place to live for longer than a getaway weekend. For proof, look no further than restaurants and retailers unable to find staff. People want to work here but they can’t afford to live here.
So, where are they going instead? Many are heading west, according to a Stats-Can. They’re moving to Alberta where there’s no land transfer tax and the average home costs half of what it does in Toronto. Just as many are heading east, to cheaper housing in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
We have no plans to sell or move, but watching real estate is something we’ve always done. And we at this page deal in facts, not speculation. (Facebook, I’m looking at you!) Many – but not all – of the water-view properties came off the market when things turned. If you don’t mind playing the negotiation game, there are deals to be had. Derek still looks fondly upon a nearby fixer-upper that went for a super-low price. It’s on an excellent lot and once it’s refurbished, will be a gem.
Check out this sweet place, backing onto a ravine, on a lot of more than an acre. A year ago, it would have been 100k higher, at least. And it’s still a great deal now.
But what about the prospective renters? They’re mostly out of luck. Despite pressure to do something about affordable rentals morphing into AirBnBs, the Municipality just decided to let well enough alone. (You can read the reasoning and the decision here, but it will probably put you to sleep!)
Downloading the HouseSigma app has been a game-changer for real-estate watchers like us. It lists rented and sold prices plus other data that’s hard to find unless you have a realtor friend. Speaking of realtors, Port Stanley has many excellent ones who know a heck of a lot more about the local market than an amateur like me. Buyers seem to be waiting for interest rates to top out. But if it’s a bargain you’re after, and you can swing it, it could be a good time to make a deal.